The Legislature finds and declares that animal disease control is essential to the livestock industry and the health of the economy of this state. In carrying out its powers and duties, the department shall evaluate activities resulting from the following subdivisions to determine their relevance to protecting the health of livestock and review its available resources. When department funds and personnel are available and such activities are determined by the department to be relevant, feasible, and consistent with the purpose of Chapter 54, article 7, the department:
(1) Shall develop a statewide livestock emergency response system capable of coordinating and executing a rapid response to the incursion, or potential incursion, of a dangerous livestock disease episode which poses a threat to the health of the state's livestock and could cause a serious economic impact on the state;
(2) Shall conduct surveillance to monitor program disease control and eradication programs;
(3) Shall conduct surveillance to detect and monitor nonprogram diseases which are, or have the potential of, causing a serious health threat to livestock. The department shall determine and employ the most efficient and practical means to conduct surveillance for livestock diseases at such places as in livestock herds, at slaughter establishments, at livestock concentration points, and at other places where livestock are assembled. When the diseases are nonprogram diseases, surveillance shall be done when in concurrence with the owner of the premises where the surveillance is to be conducted, except that if the State Veterinarian determines, in consultation and agreement with the respective livestock health committee described in subdivision (4) of this section, that the diseases may pose a serious threat to the livestock industry, the State Veterinarian may order surveillance to be conducted at any place where livestock are assembled. If an agreement between the State Veterinarian and the respective livestock health committee cannot be reached, the final decision shall be made by the director;
(4) Shall encourage involvement from livestock producers by forming livestock health committees to provide ways for producers to assist the department in developing policy regarding livestock disease issues. Membership of such committees shall be selected by the respective livestock groups. Additional appointments may be made by the director. The purpose of the committees is to advise and recommend, to the department, when a disease or diseases should be monitored by surveillance and what diseases should be considered for proposed legislation for a disease control eradication program;
(6) Shall assist public health agencies, diagnostic laboratories, and researchers in conducting epidemiological studies of diseases known to be, or suspected of being, transmitted from livestock to humans;
(7) Shall cooperate and contract with persons or local, state, and national organizations, public or private, and enter into agreements with other state or federal agencies to allow such agencies' personnel to work in Nebraska and to allow the department's personnel to work in other states or with federal agencies under a cooperative work program; and
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